28 November 2012

Why Swansea, Mytupi, and Helvetica can co-exist

You see it all the time. There's a Monotype version of Helvetica and a Linotype version. There's a URW version of Balloon and a Letraset version. There's a Monotype version of Trade Gothic and a Bitstream version. Why is this? It never looks like anything's been changed. If it has, it's so infinitessimal that you can't tell the difference without computer software. In the United States (a.k.a Planet Earth's ministry for de-evolution) there is a little blurb in the Copyright act that makes font liberation possible.

In a computer display font, only the source code can be protected under US copyright laws. The abstract letterforms are uncopyrightable.

Even though the entire institution of copyright is in serious need of a major revision, there are still little places like that where people can snake through the chaos.
In effect (if I had the right software) I could copy the letterforms from GE Inspira into a seperate TTF file, call it something (like maybe "EcoLogic NBP") and then I could release it into the public domain. Depending on how many boobytraps GE comissioned, I might have to redraw the entire typeface. But the point is that unless the monkeymen in business suits are hell-bent on proving that "EcoLogic NBP" is an infringement on Inspira's copyright.... more likely than anything is that it would just slip by unnoticed and work its way into publishing houses all across america as a free and highly legible typeface.

16 November 2012

The Sims fonts: a semi-complete list

A couple days after I started the blog up in June I talked about The Sims fonts a little bit. My list of Sims fonts was kind of sparse at the time but now I'm almost finished. A few of the Sims 2 and Sims 3 boxart logotypes are escaping me at the moment but I'll add to this list as I find stuff.

The Sims Classic
Comic Sans: Game text (PC)
One Stroke Script: Game text (GCN/PS2/Xbox)
Bodega Sans: Base game and House Party display box text
Kabel (modified): House Party logotype, On Holiday display box text
Futura: House Party display box text
Chalet London 1970: Hot Date logotype, display box headings (w/ Helvetica)
Avant Garde Gothic (modified): Superstar logotype
Trade Gothic Condensed: Superstar and Makin' Magic/Spellbound display box text
Brush Script: Unleashed display box heading text
Interstate: Unleashed display box main text

The Sims: Bustin' Out
Frankfurter Medium: Game text (GCN/PS2/Xbox)
Comic Sans: (a proprietary bitmap font based on it) Game text (GBA/NGE)
Gill Sans: Bustin' Out logotype, display box text
Futura: Instruction booklet main text
SimDialogue: instruction book heading text

The Urbz: Sims in the City
Franklin Gothic: Game heading text (GCN/PS2/Xbox)
Gothic 720: Game main text (GCN/PS2/Xbox)
Proprietary bitmap font: Game text (GBA/DS --- use Glasstown as a substitute! -_~)
Kabel (stylised): The Urbz logotype, instruction booklet subheading text
Gill Sans Condensed: Instruction booklet main text

The Sims 2
Benguiat Gothic Bold: Game heading text (PC) All game text (GCN/PS2/PSP)
Helvetica Neue: Game main text
Proprietary bitmap font: Game text (DS/GBA --- use Zarbville as a substitute -_~)
Russell Square: Base game display box heading text
Arial: Base game display box main text
Triplex Sans: Expansion pack display box main text
Helvetica Extended: Expansion Pack subtitle
Kabel: University logotype
Aspirin (modified or combined with Imaginer): Nightlife logotype
Helvetica Extended, House Brush, House Slant: Open for Business logotype
American Typewriter Bold: Pets logotype (all platforms)
Coop Heavy: Seasons logotype
Gotham Book Bold: Bon Voyage logotype
Unidentified font: FreeTime logotype (probably made by Emigre or House Industries)
Ed Interlock: Apartment Life logotype (A and L from Ed Gothic)
Gill Sans: 100 Million Sold logotype
Univers: Instruction booklet main text (all instruction book headings are the same as their expansion pack's logotype)

Helvetica Rounded: Game text
Kabel: Display box text, instruction booklet heading text
Franklin Gothic Condensed: Instruction booklet main text

I'm still working on the list of The Sims 3 fonts. Some of them are obvious (like Generations, which is Times New Roman (or it might could be Dante even) and the Russian Ambitions logotype which is Arial.... says something about Sims Division's creativity these days doesn't it? -__-) others are not so obvious though. Fortunately for maniacal typography archivists like myself >:D EA tends to use fonts from California-based digital type foundries like Emigre and House Industries for their playful fonts.
Without saying too much about EA's business practises (not a Sensible Human in the lot of them) I am looking forward to seeing what they select as the new SimCity game fonts.